and another thing


I’ve been far too attached to my email lately, checking it every hour, waiting for news, reports, answers, without anything specific in mind.  It’s like a mindless, free-floating watch, waiting for a tap on the shoulder to push me forward.  Not that I can’t do something: try for a grant; apply for a job.  Deadlines loom, but the largest one is my anticipated move to my new home.

I imagine what the new place looks like; I am renting it sight unseen.  I troll the real estate ads for a glimpse of a place similar to the one that will be mine, look at the layouts, wonder if I’ll have a place to garden. Could I plant a topiary in a container in the spring?  I should use my daydreams more wisely, that is, if that were not an oxymoronic thought in itself.  I might dream of writing surfaces, fresh paper, new pens.  This is what the fall has always meant to me.  Instead I peruse on-line catalogs, looking for a decadent  armchair at a fraction of the going price.  I make lists of things to bring, things to buy.  I decide I will live an organic, sustainable life without too many things.  I wonder if I could get an armchair with down-filled cushions.  I decide to become vegan.  I decide to remain vegetarian.  I resolve to practice more yoga.  I wonder what I will plant in the spring.


from rain to hurricane and back again

heron bird animal by roughcollie dreamstime
heron bird animal by roughcollie from dreamstime

Sunday, we read by candlelight, scrunched around the kitchen table.We made s’mores using the gas stove which still worked.

Earlier, my brother and I had driven to my parents’ town which had power listening to reports on the radio imploring us not to, but my brother had to see if his six hours of work was still saved on the hard-drive, and I went along for the ride.

There were perhaps two or three other cars on the turnpike, an eerie ride; the rain was a fine drizzle.  Later, a portion of the turnpike would be closed, but we were lucky.  A woman in the tollbooth seemed nonplussed by it all, but for her, the novelty of remarking on Irene had most likely worn off.

Three or four times, we had to circle back; one town was essentially closed, and residents were on the sidewalk, gathered with coffee cups to discuss the trees that had fallen, and the flooding from the lake. A man quietly bailed water out from his store. A fireman had drowned in a rescue attempt, we learned from the radio

Some houses set up their own generators; a friend who lives in the country reports that her neighbors have all hooked up their tractors to produce power, creating a collective hum.

My brother’s neighborhood got its power back, but NJ is still affected by the floods from rivers.  Even as I write, the sky darkens,m but I don’t see the roiling storm clouds heading north I saw on Sunday.

In the midst of all this, I am still riding a wave of good news: my manuscript was accepted for publication.  Ten years of work, the last several especially rewarding as I rode a wave of story-telling.  I am revising, but soon, I’ll really let the book finish itself, as books must do, and begin another.